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Mike Watson: Independence Day

Independence Day and Adair County: Many Revolutionary War veterans came to settle in what is now AdairCounty. Some lived long enough to file for pensions, most late inlife, when the rigors of war and frontier living had taken great toll.Daniel Trabue lived to be an old man and was pensioned; ColonelWilliam Casey died in 1816, the victim of a hard fought existence. Wehave yet to identify all the veterans of the Revolution who lived herein Adair County, but we continue to quest, to preserve their memoryevery day, not just in July. - MIKE WATSON

By Mike Watson

John Adams said that surely the 2nd of July 1776 would go down in theannals of history as the day of birth of a new nation, the UnitedStates of America. Of course that did not come to pass, as we observeJuly 4th as Independence Day.



Many American men, a large number of foreigners sympathetic to thecause of those under British rule, and some men who just wanted tofind adventure, laid down their lives and suffered greatly for what wetake somewhat less seriously today.

Our nation was the first to successfully separate from a monarchy, butcertainly not the last. We set the precedent for future revolutions,great and small, successful and failures.

Many Revolutionary War veterans came to settle in what is now AdairCounty. Some lived long enough to file for pensions, most late inlife, when the rigors of war and frontier living had taken great toll.Daniel Trabue lived to be an old man and was pensioned; ColonelWilliam Casey died in 1816, the victim of a hard fought existence. Wehave yet to identify all the veterans of the Revolution who lived herein Adair County, but we continue to quest, to preserve their memoryevery day, not just in July.

The following is a short sketch on a man who suffered a great deal inthis conflict and lived out his last days in Adair County, though fewhave ever heard his name, nor that of his family. The last of the linein this county was here at least as late as the 1880s.

Alexander Noel came to the area around Bryan's Station, FayetteCounty, at an early date. He was captured by the Indians on theKentucky River, just below Frankfort, in June 1780, and eventuallytaken to Montreal, Canada. Noel stated that his horse was shot fromunder him and was compelled to walk most or all the way to Detroitwith little food or other provisions. In Detroit he was sold to theBritish, and was then sent on to Montreal.

At Montreal, after the escape of several prisoners, including JamesTrabue, brother of Daniel Trabue, Noel and others were lodged on aBritish prison ship, a practice at that time. Some prisonerseventually agreed to become servants for British officers to escapethe horrible conditions on the ship. Noel and others refused to dothis, nor would he agree to enlist in the British cause to gain hisrelease. In time he agreed to work as a bookkeeper for a Frenchmerchant and tavern keeper and did so until the war ended. At thattime he was exchanged and sent by ship toward home and eventually backto Kentucky. He settled in Adair County prior to the its formationfrom Green.According to the Narrative of Daniel Trabue, Alexander was the son of"Old Mr. Noel" of Essex County, VA. Alexander Noel was taxed on 115acres of Russell Creek land in 1802. According to an 1843 Adair civilcourt case, Alexander and his wife, Sally, both of whom were living atthe time, had no children. It is likely they both died prior to the1850 Adair census. He had a widowed sister, Phebe Noel, who hadresided in Washington County until 1837 when Alexander brought her toAdair County to help take care of his crippled wife. It is thedescendants of Phebe Noel, and perhaps other relations, that continuedthe Noel name in Adair County for some years after.

So, what does Independence Day mean to you? Take a moment to reflect. - Mike Watson


This story was posted on 2012-07-04 09:22:35
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Welcome Back, Lindsey Wilson College Students!!!
Columbia/Adair County has missed you. You've come home to a warm, welcoming community for your Fall Semester. The community wishes you the greatest Success. We hope you'll find a college hometown as wonderful as the one you left. (Suggestion homework this weekend recommended by JIM: Encore Classic: Gordon Crump - 'How I discovered Columbia . . . ')

 

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